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Win Tickets to FYF Fest and See Best Coast

By Mark Fisher
Published: Thursday, August 26, 2010, at 01:10PM
Best Coast David Black

Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno make up two-thirds of Best Coast, performing September 4 at FYF Fest.

It's been an unusually gloomy summer for California, but the lo-fi/surf-pop/garage offerings from Best Coast may be the perfect remedy. The LA-based trio (Bethany Cosentino, Bobb Bruno and new drummer Ali Koehler) are currently surfing a nice wave of acclaim thanks to great press and praise from mainstream and indie outlets. The band's debut album Crazy for You recently charted on the Billboard 200 at #36 and entered at #10 on Digital Albums. The band was also just awarded "Best New Band of 2010" by NME in the UK and frontwoman Bethany Cosentino has been featured in Spin, Rolling Stone and Vogue among others.

Cosentino is no stranger to music or the limelight. Her father (Ricky Cosentino) is a drummer who has performed with top acts such as War, Ambrosia, The Commodores, and Earth, Wind & Fire. It also helps that her uncle is a keyboardist who used to jam with REO Speedwagon and Kool & The Gang. Thanks to great DNA, Cosentino grew up performing in talent shows, acting in major commercials and watching her family perform live in concert. She then started writing music at age 15 and that’s when major labels started taking notice.

Cosentino took some time to speak with blogdowntown about her upbringing and love for The Smell on 2nd and Main.

MARK FISHER: You’re about to embark on a big US tour. Is this your biggest one yet?

BETHANY COSENTINO: We did a month on tour in Europe and a three week East Coast tour, but this will be our biggest one. This would be considered our "record tour" since we didn’t have a record to support before. We're definitely playing our biggest venues.

MF: Who are your influences?

BC: Beach Boys, The Beatles, Phil Spector, The Ronettes. Sounds of the ‘60s. Simple straight-forward pop music.

MF: Is this new album centered around a particular boyfriend or is it based on a collection of experiences?

BC: It’s really based on a collection of experiences. It’s my own fault for writing about a mystery person. I do look back and see why people may feel it's fueled by one person.

MF: How did your father’s background as a musician influence your upbringing?

BC: My father is the one that introduced me to music. I grew up always performing or seeing live performances and started singing at talent shows at 5. I have to thank my Dad for getting me into music. He listened to The Beatles and Beach Boys. Both of my parents were also big Fleetwood Mac fans.

MF: You obviously had a chance to go the major label route. Any regrets or was indie the way to go?

BC: When I was younger, I was approached by major labels. With Best Coast, we knew we wanted to do a record with a label that cared about us. We also wanted to make sure our record was properly promoted. Mexican Summer felt like the best label for us to sign with. They are the nicest people and take care of us. They’re true fans and genuinely love the bands they sign. When we first met with them, I instantly knew that they were the ones we wanted to work with.

MF: What are some of your favorite places in L.A.?

BC: I live in Eagle Rock, but grew up in Glendale. I love it. I don’t do much when I’m home. I frequent Trader Joe’s in Eagle Rock and Whole Foods in Glendale. I also like going to Americana in Glendale to check out movies. For eats, I like Senor Fish in Eagle Rock and La Cabañita in Glendale. I also dig hanging out at The Black Boar in Eagle Rock.

I tend to stick to my side of town. I’m an Eastsider and proud of it. I love L.A., but hate driving!

MF: How about Downtown L.A.?

BC: I like downtown L.A. I worked downtown for two years in an office building doing secretarial work. I used to get stuck in traffic and it was annoying. I don’t go down there unless it’s to The Smell, an art show or other event. The Smell in Downtown L.A. is also one of my favorite spots. I've been going there since I was a teenager.

MF: Any bands or artists that you’d like to tour with?

BC: Rivers Cuomo just hit me up on Twitter. I would love to tour with Weezer. No Doubt and Weezer were two of my favorite bands from 6th to 10th grade. We also love Paramore and think they’re super talented. I would also love to play with Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks is my #1 all-time influence and inspiration. I happen to like Drake too.

MF: Will you be writing new material on this upcoming tour?

BC: I definitely don’t like writing new material on the road, as I prefer to do it alone. I like writing in my bedroom on the floor with my computer and amp. I write songs pretty quickly and can write three to four songs at a time. I’m currently writing about missing home, friends, and what I’m going through right now. I am writing enough material so when the time comes to record new stuff, we’ll have a lot to work with.

MF: What’s ahead for 2011?

BC: We're touring for the rest of this year and booked through March of next year. We're definitely antsy to get new material out, but at this time we’re just going to concentrate on the current album.

Best Coast will launch their upcoming U.S. tour Labor Day weekend with a performance at the FYF Fest on September 4th at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (1245 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012). VIP and General Admission tickets are still available. For more information on FYF Fest, please visit www.fyffest.com.

WANT TO WIN TICKETS? We're giving away three pairs of tickets over the next week, one with this interview. Leave a comment below telling us why you should win. Be sure to use an account where we can contact you. Entries close Saturday at noon.

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